Archive for March 2012

Why Do I NOT Do The Things I Know I Should Do? Romans 7:15

Romans 7:15 – 15I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.

Paul shares his thoughts on his struggle with not doing the right thing and doing the wrong thing.

This is a problem everyone faces – especially in the following areas of personal finances.

  • Budgeting  We know that we should prepare a monthly written Give/Save/Invest/Spend plan, but for some reason we don’t allocate the time and effort required to make it happen.
  • Giving  We know that we should give, but we fail to do so when it comes time to write the checks or pay the bills on-line for the month.
  • Saving  We know that we should be saving money.  After all, the children are growing like weeds, and it seems like they will be headed to college tomorrow!  The car has special “rattling” sounds, yet we have not saved any money to repair or replace it.
  • Investing  We know that we should be investing to fund our big-time dreams and prepare for retirement.  After all, our bodies are creaking, and it seems to take much longer to get rolling each morning.  Yet, we choose to invest little to no money to cover our living expenses and live life to the fullest during our retirement years.
  • Wills/Estate Plan  We know that we will die someday, but we choose to ignore that reality by failing to have a written will and estate plan.
  • Insurance  We know that we are going to get sick one day.  Yet, we choose to not have health insurance.  We know that law requires us to carry insurance for our cars and that we will probably be in a wreck someday, yet some still choose to drive without auto insurance.
  • Debt  We know that substantial debt can delay or completely prevent the funding of our future plans, hopes, and dreams, yet we choose to “sign the line” anyway.

The LIE that we tell ourselves is this:  “Things will be okay.  After all, we have made it this far living this way.”

If that is you, let me ask you a few questions:

  • Are things REALLY okay?
  • Are your dreams fully funded?
  • Are you living the life you dreamed of when you were young?
  • When was the last time you really allowed yourself to dream?

What do you need to do?

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Savings Tip – Fast From Something

Here’s a savings tip that be a lot of fun and a serious challenge if taken seriously – Go on a spending fast and give or save the difference.

It’s a simple concept.  Stop spending money on a specific item for period of time, and deposit the money that would have been spent on that item into savings or give that money away.

Here are some examples:

  • Stop buying soda (or pop or Coke or whatever you call it) and redirect the money to savings
  • Refuse to purchase any new clothes for an entire year and redirect the money to savings
  • Eliminate the daily $4 coffee drinks (gasp!) and redirect the money to savings
  • Park the car and ride a bike to work for a month and redirect the money to savings

A young lady I met a year ago embarked on a journey just like this.  Her name is Sarah, and she resolved to “not buy anything new for 365 days.”  Her year-long quest began on March 21, 2011, and she is about to finish her journey. On March 21, I will be posting the blog post that I asked her to write.  You won’t want to miss it.

QUESTION:  What will you choose to go on a spending fast for?  What will you do with the money that would normally have been spent on that item?

I’ll reveal my spending fast goal next week.

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Could You Handle $1,000,000?

If you were blessed with $1,000,000 RIGHT NOW, could you handle it well?

Chances are high that if you can’t manage your current income well, you wouldn’t be able to handle $1,000,000 well.

I’m convinced that if I had been blessed with $1,000,000 before I made major changes to my finances in December 2002, I would have blown through all of it and all I would have now is some rusty stuff and an ocean of regret.

Think about this for a minute:

  • If you don’t prepare and follow a budget with your current income, you won’t with $1,000,000 either.
  • If you choose not to consistently give now with your current income, you won’t with $1,000,000 either.
  • If you choose not to consistently save now with your current income, you won’t with $1,000,000 either.

Money just amplifies current behavior.

What changes do you need to make now to prepare to manage the $1,000,000 with excellence?

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